Monday, July 29, 2013

Rule #35: Give veggies you don't always love another try!

So I pretty much love every single vegetable out there, but I can be a bit picky about my eggplant.  Currently my eggplant are flowering, but I got some from a friend in North Carolina will visiting last week.  Some were fat, but most were skinny.  I tend to like the skinny ones and I found out that this was a Japanese variety.  It think I will be getting this variety next year.  I got quite a bit and decided to have John grill them up.  Then I put parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and EVOO in the food processor and poured it over the hot grilled eggplant.  FIRST, this was fabulous (it's what my mom does except she simply chops everything instead of food processing).  I was still not very fond of the fatter ones that had many seeds.  Second, I found a recipe for a eggplant open sandwich on pinterest that I had to tweak a bit and it too was amazing.  I used rustico sliced bread from Trader Joe's instead of ciabatta, olive tapenade instead of just kalamata olives, and the grilled eggplant instead of breaded and baked eggplant, but the result was very good.  Put the tapenade on the bread followed by some fresh tomato from the garden, the eggplant and the mozzarella cheese on top.  Then I toasted it up and let me tell you...YUM. Third, we made some pizza and put it on with some freshly made sauce, caramelized onions, mushrooms and black olives and that was amazing too.  So there you have it...give your not so favorite veggies another try :)

In other gardening news we are starting to get a good amount of tomatoes and the crookneck squash is still doing well.  My other zucchini are still hanging in there and we actually got our first (I hope of many) Romanesco zucchini.  Hopefully my surgery and getting most of the SVB eggs off early in the season will prove successful.  The cucumbers are doing AMAZING this year and we are all happy about that. My new one from Johnny's called the Amiga is very good.  Of course we are getting many jalapeƱo peppers and John has made a fun pickle with cucumbers that he loves ( I can only handle about one or two bites).  My radicchio is starting to pop up and I will need to re-seed two varieties that didn't come up as well.  My last picture is of my Borlotti and Taylor Strain shelling beans that are almost ready.  Once those are done I will have tons of space for my fall gardening veggies!  Am I really already saying fall?

I am sharing this on Daphne's Dandelion's as part of Harvest Monday (as I usually try to do). It's a fun way to see what other gardeners are doing all around the globe.
My favorite big boy....The Italian Heirloom and some Early Girls

Thinning some beets...they look more like radishes

Grilled up some zucchini and onions, added them to a herbed vinegrette and mixed with quinoa.  The greens are from beets, celery, some swiss chard and fennel tops

The first Romanesco Zucchini and other garden goodies


Making the eggplant sammy

after toasting


Radicchio seedlings

More Radicchio seedlings (some chard on the corner of the pic too)

Italian shelling beans... almost ready

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rule #34: Breath in and out and take it one day at a time when coming back to your garden after your vacation!

It's been a while since my last post, but the garden has been thriving and providing for us.  The lettuces are on their way out, but lasted longer with all the overcast days and rain.  Oh the rain.  There was a lot of it.  Not typical of Maryland to still have green grass in mid-July.

So we took a 10 day trip out to New Mexico right at the time that the garden started producing tons of harvests!  Needless to say, when we got home we found many surprises.  Since there was so much rain even after we left the watering was not an issue, but the weeds were so out of control.  The first thing I had to tackle (besides settling back in, cleaning and doing laundry!) was harvesting.  We had tons of cucumbers, green beans, chard, and our first ripe tomato.  There were also a couple of crookneck squash.  First surprise (or not really for me) was that though I was diligent about finding and taking off SVB eggs from the zucchini plants there were larva in every one of them.  Even in my test pot on the patio :(.  I preformed another surgery and think that half may survive.  Oh well.  What can you do?  Next surprise was that the voluntary plant coming out of the rock border of our new bed was a pumpkin!  OH DEAR....there is no room for you baby!  It was in the butternut squash bed that was already at full capacity.  I also found 2 butternuts that look pretty ready, but I have never grown them so I have to look it up to make sure I can pick them.  I haven't even touched the asian greens but they were eaten up pretty good and I will try to nurture them better for a fall harvest.

Today I started weeding and with the little tool we have it really hasn't been too bad and everything is coming up easily.  Unfortunately John only had time to do mowing before he had to go out of town for work or it would have been finished by now.  The tomatoes or so full it's ridiculous and (finger crossed) it seems like there are a lot less squirrels in the garden now that the tree is not in there any more.

On to sowing the winter radicchio!  Hopefully I will post about it soon...
A shot of the garden before we left during the crazy storms!

Out of control garden upon our return a few days ago!

First Haul

First half of the green bean bed!

First blueberry harvest!

Second half of the green bean bed on day 2 of return and another  squash